SpyderExpress Horrible Result

By BlackScarlet
Sep 18, 2008
  1. I got Spyder Express for $90

    Apparently it's supposed to calibrate my monitor to make everything look super. Well I did it, and it resulted in my whites looking a murky brown colour, applied a hideous warm filter to everything, and my blacks being a strange grey.

    So now instead of looking at a black and white image and seeing silvery shades of clear whites, blacks and greys, I see this pseudo sepia image with horrible contrast and faded shadows and highlights.

    Here are some comparative examples of the output.
    These aren't exact, because spyder manipulates more ranges in different ways than a global filter can emulate simply, but it's a good enough idea.

    This is just me talking, but I know whites and blacks and even skin tones when I see them, and what I got from this apparently 'ideal' setup was repulsive.

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    So what are your system specs? Monitor? Graphics driver? Operating System?
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    Is That a Red Headed Step Child.....?

    The photos you've posted are extremely shifted toward red. The results you've achieved appear as though you've used incandescent light and daylight film. That combination would give you pretty much the identical results. This is because the color "temperature" of the light does not match the balance of the film.

    In this digital case, this is caused by improper white balance. My suggestion is to reset the monitor to it's default settings, disable or uninstall any software associated with "Spyder", and then try again, after an extended session with the instructions. Spyder products are widely used to apparently good results in the photo community, so this may be because of lack of familiarity on your part. I don't use calibration equipment on my monitors at the present, and I regret not being able to give you more specific instructions. The whole point behind calibration and profiling is so that you can acheive "WYSIWYG" (what you see is what you get) output from the screen to your printer. I've found that most monitors look pretty good for imaging work, after you set the color temperature to 6500K. They usually come set to 9300K, which (IMHO and many others), is too "cool" a setting for imaging work.

    Let us know what happens after another go at it.
  4. BlackScarlet

    BlackScarlet TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Intel dual core, 2ghz, 2G ram, win xp, NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT, and a generic plugnplay monitor
  5. BlackScarlet

    BlackScarlet TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Lol, well, there was no film involved. this was just the generic tester image used to calibrate many monitor setups, and was the one used to show the difference before and after the calibration. as i mentioned, these pictures arent exactly accurate. the way the monitor was adjusted, it appears certain values were shifted more than others, so my trying to replicate the exact tones was impossible, so I did the best I can. Yep. looks a little red, but it was as close as I can get to give a general idea, and is pretty close.
    Though I would have liked to give a screenshot, it wasn't possible, because the actual monitor's settings were being changed, not an onscreen image. And of course, taking an external picture of the monitor always ends up looking strange, so that would have been messy.
    so, in wanting to give a general idea of the results, I fudged it with photoshop filters as best I could, but in no way perfectly accurate.

    I'd quite like to set the colour temperature myself, like i could on my old lg monitor, but this one i got as a backup after it died has no ability to do that.

    still, apparently the software reads your monitor's specifications internally, as well as the physical output, then determines its calibrations from there, and verifys it physically, once again after the process is complete.

    Good for it, it still gave me brown tones through whites darks and mids.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    I had second thoughts after I posted the film analog, as somebody might think I actually meant there was film used in the process or someone not familiar with film might not understand the basis for the references . Since you used a PS filter to acheive the results posted, you did, and I didn't.

    First, brown is a tertiary color, it's actually a mixture of the three primary colors. As such, it's more difficult to emulate than one of the secondaries.

    A monitor comes with a built in "profile", which is a string of letters and numbers derived at by the manufacturer to indicate which panel, (or) phosphors, and color management protocols are in force with the particular device.

    Since you say that a provision for color temperature adjustment isn't available, it gives one pause to wonder if the profile is accurate.

    There are a number of devices and intuitive steps in the process we're discussing, and it makes sense to eliminate the monitor first (if possible) in the diagnostic process.

    There are several brands and models of monitors more revered in the photographic community than others, Sumsung "Color Sync" springs to mind

    When discussing system specs to arrive at a diagnosis, there are several least likely candidates to consider, notably the CPU and RAM.

    The best advice I could give you is; if possible borrow a monitor to see if your rig can generate a successful calibration on it. A simple "reset to default" on the test monitor should nullify any lasting effects of the testing.

    There are a number of other factors that could be causing this issue, a wrong or improperly installed graphics driver, "Spyder" software, or even "Adobe Gamma" conflicting with the calibration. This last of course assumes that you are using PS or PSE, and have it installed. And dare I say it, even pilot error.

    I wish I had an easier or more direct answer, sorry.

    EDIT; Make certain that your graphic driver and Adobe Gamma (if Present) are set to default values. Personally, I would remove Adobe Gamma altogether, before undertaking a calibration.
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